Student/Professor relationship sets Union apart

The Union Institute & University Ph.D. program is known for developing the scholar- practitioner. That’s why it was an easy decision for faculty members Dr. Jennifer Raymond and Dr. Diane Allerdyce to team up with their doctoral students to participate in the National Women’s Studies Association Annual Conference (NWSA), November 10-13, 2016.

The Union scholar-practitioner model encourages trust between the professor and student.

“In the doctoral program there is a different work that happens. The professor’s job isn’t necessarily just to be an expert, but to be a facilitator of the students’ development in terms of their academic work, how to deepen their knowledge and understanding and achieve the goals of their research,” said Jennifer Raymond, Ph.D., PPS Chair and Faculty, Ph.D. Program, Graduate & Interdisciplinary Studies.

Diane Richard-Allerdyce, Ph.D., HMS Chair & Faculty, explains. “A scholar-practitioner is someone who brings to the academic world and beyond a perspective on social problems. Scholar-practitioners apply critical thinking to academic theories and issues and take that knowledge beyond the classroom, often working with the community in pursuit of social justice initiatives. Ph.D. students trust that they will learn to reexamine knowledge and become a committed agent for social change and work to solve the issues within our societies. Professors understand that they must guide the student to see the bigger goal of completing their dissertation and their professional career.”

Dr. Allerdyce will present her paper, “As Fragile as Tissue and as Strong: A Somaesthetic Reading of Octavia Butler’s The Parable of the Sower” at the NWSA as part of the panel The Surface of Skin: Bodily Boundaries and Sites of Belonging and Exclusion in the National Women’s Studies Association 2016 conference program. Dr. Jennifer Raymond will moderate. Union Ph.D. student Angel Lemke is also on the panel and will present her paper, “’I Don’t Even Know if I’m White’”: Geographies of Bigotry in Rita Mae Brown’s Rubyfruit Jungle.”

In addition, Dr. Allerdyce will moderate the panel on Biopolitics and State Regulation of Women’s Sexuality that features paper presentations by Dr. Jennifer Raymond and Union Ph.D. students Randi McCray, whose paper is entitled “Degradation, Devaluation, and Sexual Regulation of TANF Recipients: A Critical Analysis of State Regulations and Welfare-to-Work Policies,” and Michelle Budwitz, who will present “A Feminist Critical Discourse Analysis of Abortion Restriction Policy: An Examination of the Social Constructions of Women Embedded within the Policy Discourse.” Dr. Raymond’s paper for this panel is entitled “#NoTeenShame: Using Social Media to Contest the Social Construction of Teen Parents.”

Dr. Raymond will also present a paper, “Sexual Politics, Biopolitics and Power, the Growing Focus on LGBT Health Initiatives,” as part of a panel called Biopolitical Citizenship and Healthcare along with Union Ph.D. student Lynn Madden who will present “Examining the Intersection of Substance Use Disorders, Gender, and Sexual Orientation.”

“It is a great honor for a doctoral student to be accepted to present at a national conference. We are very proud of Union’s Ph.D. students,” said Dr. Allerdyce.

Learn More About Union’s Ph.D. Program

If you would like to know more about Union’s Ph.D. program and how it incorporates interdisciplinary study to expand and deepen your knowledge and expertise visit